UK Ferry Operator -
£200,000 Stock Theft
  • A major UK ferry operator received sketchy information from an internal source that large scale theft of duty free goods was taking place on one of its vessels.

    RPS began making observations monitoring crew movements on and off the ferry while it was in dock.

    Many relatively minor incidents of theft were observed until the main method of theft was discovered.

    This primarily concerned three crew members who were identified carrying very large and heavy holdalls off the ship in the middle of the night.

    The thieves left the ship and exited the terminal building using an emergency fire escape that led to a railway platform. In abusing this exit they successfully evaded HM Customs Controls, Special Branch Controls and Port Security.

    They took the holdalls into a flat that belonged to a fourth crew member and deposited the stolen goods there. At the end of the crew's working week the gang went directly to the safe house and removed the stolen goods.

    RPS set up an observation post and video recorded the movements of the gang into and out of the safe house over several weeks.

    The collection of the goods and the vehicle loading was also recorded and handed over to the Police and HM Customs and Excise. On the day of the knock, 10 people were arrested.

    On the same day a major disciplinary operation commenced against the crew members identified committing less serious offences during the main observations.

    In total 43 members of staff were suspended and interviewed over a three week period. 20 dismissals followed for offences including theft, credit card fraud, drinking on duty and absenteeism.

    The main fraud was estimated at £200,000 per annum.

    The week preceding the arrests losses from the duty free shop were recorded at £10,000. The following week the losses were down to an amazing £110.

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